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Fraud fears Banks warn shoppers to be wary of internet scams ahead of Black Friday

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More people have been turning to online shopping (PA)

More people have been turning to online shopping (PA)

More people have been turning to online shopping (PA)

Consumers have been warned to be extra vigilant to avoid payment card fraud ahead of Black Friday and the busy Christmas shopping period.

The body that represents the banks said that 260,000 fraudulent debit and credit card transactions last year cost around €22m.

However, the Banking and Payments Federation Ireland said progress is being made in the fight against card fraud.

Card fraud losses were down 49pc last year when compared with those in 2016.

This decrease is despite a 28pc increase in credit and debit card usage in the same three-year period.

The vast majority of card fraud last year took place online, by telephone or by mail order, rather than in a shop.

Banking and Payments Federation Ireland chief executive Brian Hayes said card fraud losses were down even though more debit and credit cards are in issue.

"The fall in losses can be attributed to a combination of better detection and fraud monitoring systems which banks have put in place, but also to the fact that consumers are becoming more aware of the risks of card fraud and the ways in which they can protect themselves from falling victim."

Despite this, the fact that 260,000 people were scammed using debit and credit cards last year meant efforts on all sides are required in order to continue to drive these figures down.

"This is particularly pertinent in the current climate when consumers are shopping online more than ever due to Covid-19 restrictions and when our figures are showing us that over 90pc of card fraud takes place online or using telephone or mail order," Mr Hayes said.

He called on consumers to take extra precautions when shopping online this year as Covid restrictions and the pre-Christmas rush draws thousands of shoppers online.

Research carried out for Banking and Payments Federation's fraud awareness initiative, FraudSmart, found that six out of 10 people say they will do more of their Christmas shopping online this year.

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The survey found many online shoppers are opening themselves up to being defrauded.

It found four out of 10 people sometimes or always click on links from social media adverts rather than visiting the relevant website independently.

This jumped to six out of 10 among those aged 18 to 24.

A third rarely or never check the security of the website they are shopping. Safe websites have a padlock symbol or the 'https' in the address to indicate the site is secure.

Those aged 18 to 24 are more likely than any other age group to provide their card information by email, shop from unfamiliar sites and use public WiFi when making payments.

Women are more much more likely than men to click on links from social media adverts and less likely to check for the padlock symbol.

However, men are more likely to send their card details by email, use public WiFi when making payments and to purchase from unfamiliar websites.

Shoppers were advised to use secure websites.

They should also independently visit the website of the online sales company as opposed to clicking on social media or pop-up adverts.

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